There are several authors manning the table tonight. They've gone to eat. If we get a rush, I am in big trouble. I am not feeling the stress.
It seems odd to be hawking my own book at a festival in which other authors are the stars. The insecure part of me feels like an impostor, a gate crasher who was never invited to the party.
Still, as Fouling Out is my first book, I have said that I will try anything to get the most of the experience. As the night moves on, I realize that most of the other writers in my corner are self-published. They all are better at the gift of gab, an asset when you are trying to sell books. If only I could gain some of that ability simply through observation.
Michael Ondaatje is speaking as I write. The thunderous applause to welcome him triggers awe, envy and satisfaction in me. The sentiments of awe and envy are self-explanatory; the satisfaction comes in knowing some authors are honored, revered. Pop stars, hockey players, actors and, yes, authors.
I remind myself that, for every famous pop star, hockey player, actor or author, there are many more who struggle for any recognition at all. My shift ends after four and a half hours. I have sold a grand total of two books. After paying my publisher for the copies, my take home for the night is about six dollars or $1.33 per hour. It is a reality check. There is Michael Ondaatje and then there are the rest of us.